The Editor’s thanks are due to the Rev. A. Frewen Aylward for the use of the poem “Adsum,” and to Messrs. Harmsworth Bros, for permission to include Mr. Rudyard Kipling’s phenomenal success, “The Absent-Minded Beggar,” in this collection; also to Messrs. Harper and Brothers, of New York, for special permission to copy from “Harper’s Magazine” the poem “Sheltered,” by Sarah Orme Jewett; to Messrs. Chatto and Windus for permission to use “Mrs. B.’s Alarms,” from “Humorous Stories,” by the late James Payn; to Miss Palgrave and to Messrs. Macmillan and Co., for the use of “England Once More,” by the late F. T. Palgrave; to Mr. Clement Scott for permission to include “Sound the Assembly” and “The Midnight Charge”; to Mr. F. Harald Williams and Mr. Gerald Massey for generous and unrestricted use of their respective war poems, and to numerous other authors and publishers for the use of copyright pieces.
There is a true and a false Imperialism. There is the Imperialism of the vulgar braggart, who thinks that one Englishman can fight ten men of any other nationality under the sun; and there is the Imperialism of the man of thought, who believes in the destiny of the English race, who does not shrink from the responsibilities of power from “craven fear of being great,” and who holds that an Englishman ought to be ready to face twenty men if need be, of any nationality, including his own, rather than surrender a trust or sacrifice a principle. The first would base empire on vanity and brute force, inspired by the vulgar reflection—
“We’ve got the men, we’ve got the ships, we’ve got the money too.”
The second does not seek empire, but will not shrink from the responsibilities of its growth, and in all matters of international dispute believes with Solomon, that “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding,” and in all matters of international relationship that “Righteousness exalteth a nation.”
The rapid and solid growth of the British Empire has been due largely to two characteristics of its rule—the integrity of its justice and the soundness of its finance. Native races everywhere appeal with confidence to the justice of our courts, and find in the integrity of our fiscal system relief from the oppressive taxation of barbarous governments.
These blessings we owe, and with them the strength of our empire, not to the force of our arms in the field, but to the subordination of the military to the civil spirit, both in peace and war.
Other nations fail in their attempts at colonisation because they proceed on military lines. With them it is the soldier first and the civilian where he can. England succeeds because she proceeds on industrial lines. With her it is the plough where it may be and the sword where it must.
The military spirit never yet built up an enduring empire, and the danger of military success is that it is apt to confuse means and ends in the public mind, and to encourage the subordination of the civil to the military spirit in national institutions. Such a result could only be disastrous to the British Empire, and so, while rejoicing in the success of the British arms, it behoves us to oppose with all our strength the growth of the military spirit.